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Frank Lloyd Wright

“…….having a good start not only do I fully intend to be the greatest architect whohas yet lived, but fully intend to be the greatest architect who will ever live. Yes, Iintend to be the greatest architect of all time.” – Frank Lloyd Wright 1867-1959

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CHILDHOOD

Born in Richland Center, in southwestern Wisconsin, on June 8, 1867 (sometimes reported as 1869), Frank Lincoln Wright, who changed his own middle name to Lloyd, was raised under the influence of a Welsh heritage. The Lloyd-Jones family, his mother’s side of the family, had a great influence on Wright throughout his life. The family was Unitarian in faith and lived close to each other. Major emphasis within the Lloyd-Jones family included education, religion, and nature. Wright’s family spent many evenings listening to William Lincoln Wright read the works of Emerson, Thoreau, and Blake. His aunts Nell and Jane opened a school of their own, pressing the philosophies of the German educator, Froebel. Wright was brought up in a comfortable, but certainly not warm household. His father, William Carey Wright, who worked as a preacher and a musician, moved from job to another, dragging his family across the United States. Possibly as a result of this upheaval, Wright’s parents divorced when while he was still young. His mother, Anna, relied heavily upon her many brothers, sisters and uncles, and Wright was intellectually guided by his aunts and his mother.

Before Wright was even born, his mother had decided that her son was gong to be a great architect. Using Froebel’s geometric blocks to entertain and educate her son, Mrs. Wright must have struck the genius that her son possessed. Use of imagination was encouraged and Wright was given free run of the playroom filled with paste, paper, and cardboard. On the door were the words, SANCTUM SANCTORUM (Latin for place of inviolable privacy). Wright was seen as a dreamy and sensitive child, and cases of him running away while working on the farmlands with his uncles were noted. This pattern of running away from one thing or another continued throughout his lifetime.

WRIGHT’S FIRST BREAK

In 1887, at the age of twenty, Frank Lloyd Wright moved to Chicago. During the latenineteenth century, Chicago was a booming, crazy place. With an education inengineering from the University of Wisconsin, Wright found a job as a d…

…/snail shell design that seems to grow out of the ground in the heart ofNew York City. The huge skylight provides light for the entire museum. The designallows people to see the art in a continuous manner. Visitors are intended to take anelevator to the top and walk all the way down, viewing all the exhibits as theydescend. Today, after an exhaustive competition, a second building is attached tothe museum, providing even more display space. The winning design is a simple,thin tower that is designed not to distract from the beautiful spiral. In true Wrightfashion, the architect stated that he did not want to disturb nature, giving themuseum its own place in the environment.

Wright never retired; he died on April 9, 1959 at the age of ninety-two in Arizona. Hewas interred at the graveyard at Unity Chapel (which was considered to be his firstbuilding) at Taliesin in Wisconsin. In 1985, Olgivanna Wright passed away and one ofher wishes was to have Frank Lloyd Wright’s remains cremated and the ashes putnext to hers at Taliesin West. After much controversy, this was done. The epitaph athis Wisconsin grave site reads: “Love of an idea is the love of God.”

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